VERO BEACH, Fla.--Feb. 24, 2005--Vacation home buyers can sample the wares of America's finest resort communities with travel packages of lodging, golf or dining that are inventoried on a new website niche.
The new program allows vacation home buyers to "test drive" a resort community before buying, providing a guest visit that is like a mini-vacation in heaven.
No one would buy a Rolls Royce, Bentley -- or even an Edsel without a test drive. And no one wants to spend $500,000 or more on a vacation home that is not really the right match for their tastes and preferences.
This is why the Discovery Package was innovated by PrivateCommunities.com, a firm that uses the Internet to market high-quality real estate to second-home and vacation home buyers.
"People often fall in love with a resort area while they are on vacation. And before they go back home, they start shopping for a resort residence so they can come back again and again," said Elisabeth Miller-Fox, president of PrivateCommunities.com. "This new program allows people to test drive many resorts as they search for a vacation home. The availability of Discovery Package info online streamlines the entire home-search process."
The amenities and specifications of the resort communities offering these "test drive" visits can be located at http://www.PrivateCommunities.com, under Discovery Packages. Or those who prefer to simply do an online Google search on "Discovery Package" will be directed to the right website.
The Discovery Packages offered by developers generally provide several nights at a resort hotel or golf course villa. The Discovery Package visits, typically one to three nights, are reasonably priced and they often include two rounds of golf at the resort. The Discovery Package visits give the buyer a chance to really experience the ambiance of the community, whether it is a seashore, mountaintop or golf course residence.
Since the Discovery Package options were recently added to the website of PrivateCommunities.com, consumers have fully embraced the idea and the Internet "visit" count has been impressive.
"Putting the Discovery Package information on the website has been proven to be a wise move. The Internet has become a vital part of shopping for a home and we've apparently tapped into something the buyers really want," said Marie Roberts, co-founder of PrivateCommunities.com.
Seventy-four percent of all homebuyers use the Internet in shopping for a home, up from 71 percent in 2003, according to the National Association of Realtors. That represents a tremendous shift in homebuyers attitudes over the last decade. In 1995, only 2 percent of homebuyers used the Internet for a home search.
Today's typical homebuyer visits nine houses before selecting a house to buy, according to the 2004 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Those who are looking for a vacation home may not view as many dwellings as the typical homebuyer in a suburban or urban setting. But the Discovery Packages certainly enable a would-be buyer to find the right resort home a lot quicker, said Miller-Fox.
In 1996, PrivateCommunities.com pioneered the first website to showcase master-planned communities for retirement and second-home buyers. It is a division of Private Communities Registry Inc., headquartered in Vero Beach, Fla.
The PrivateCommunities.com website also has been recognized recently for its significant success in using the Internet to market upscale homes in gated communities.